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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue
Title:Nation-building and debates on 'perfect country name': an appraisal of letters to newspapers in Botswana, 1981 and 2002
Author:Makgala, Christian JohnISNI
Periodical:Botswana Notes and Records (ISSN 0525-5090)
Geographic term:Botswana
Subjects:ethnic identity
nation building
Abstract:This paper analyses the content of the government-owned 'Botswana Daily News' and private newspapers in Botswana on the appropriateness of the country's name. It looks at the understanding and treatment of history in the public arena in the context of controversial national issues of citizenship, identity and tribal recognition. For decades, citizens from historically marginalized tribes campaigned for recognition at the same level as their Tswana-speaking counterparts. There were also arguments for change of the country's name as some citizens felt that the name 'Botswana' reflected only one section of the population. In 1981, this was a topical issue in the 'Daily News' as some people argued that the country should be renamed 'Kgalagadi', while others strongly opposed to this idea. In 2002, a similar argument reemerged with someone arguing that the name Botswana should be changed to an acronym of several rivers in the northern and eastern part of the country, 'SHALIMOCHOTA Republic'. The present paper examines these debates. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]